$300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) Draws 30 Nominees for 100th Renewal

May 8th, 2024

Headlines May 17 Program of Six Stakes, Three Graded, Worth $1 Million

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Oaks (G1) heroine Thorpedo Anna, fellow graded-stakes winners Lemon Muffin, Manama Gold and My Mane Squeeze, and local stakes winners Call Another Play and Miss Harriett head a list of 30 3-year-old fillies nominated to the $300,000 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan (G2) Friday, May 17 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

The 100th running of the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan highlights a spectacular 14-race program that includes six stakes, three graded, worth $1 million in purses that serves as a fitting prelude to the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 18.

Debuting as the Pimlico Oaks in 1919, the race was not run from 1932-36 and 1950, returning in 1951 as the Black-Eyed Susan to honor both the Preakness and the Maryland state flower. Notable winners have included Nellie Morse, the only filly to also go on to win the Preakness, in 1924; and champions Vagrancy, Twilight Tear, But Why Not, Wistful, Real Delight, Office Queen, Davona Dale, Serena’s Song, Silverbulletday and Royal Delta.

Thorpedo Anna posted a front-running 4 ¾-length upset of the 1 1/8-mile Oaks May 3 under trainer Brian Hernandez Jr. for trainer Ken McPeek, who teamed up the next day to upset the Kentucky Derby (G1) with Mystik Dan. In her Oaks prep, Thorpedo Anna scored by four lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy (G2) March 30.

Lemon Muffin, trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, ran eighth in the Oaks and seventh in the Fantasy following her 3 ½-length triumph in the Feb. 24 Honeybee (G3), her lone win to go along with four seconds from eight starts. My Mane Squeeze put together three consecutive stakes wins against New York-breds before finishing eighth as the favorite in the Fantasy, rebounding to spring a 6-1 upset of the seven-furlong Eight Belles (G2) May 3.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher nominated Manama Gold, a Louisiana-bred daughter of Star Guitar that is unbeaten in three starts, all in Dubai, the most recent a 1 ¼-length victory in the 1 3/16-mile UAE Oaks (G3) Feb. 23.

Call Another Play earned an automatic berth in the Black-Eyed Susan off her 3 ½-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss April 20 at Laurel Park for trainer Michael Trombetta. Runner-up Jeanne Marie and third-place finisher Miss Harriett, herself a Laurel stakes winner at both 2 and 3, are each nominated.

Trainer Brad Cox nominated four horses including Grade 1 and Grade 2-placed Impel and stakes winner West Omaha, most recently second to Thorpedo Anna in the Fantasy. Among other prominent nominees are Corposo, a last-out third in the April 6 Santa Anita Oaks (G2), and stakes winners Aoife’s Magic, Recharge, Ringy Dingy and Tapit Jenallie.

Heading the supporting stakes is the historic $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3) for 3-year-olds and up going the Preakness distance of 1 3/16 miles, which attracted 38 nominations including Skippylongstocking, a multiple graded-stakes winner of nearly $2.3 million that earned an automatic berth for his victory in the April 20 Oaklawn Handicap (G2); fellow graded-stakes winners Disarm, fourth in the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1) unraced since a runner-up finish in the Travers (G1) last August; Red Route One, fourth in the Preakness 148; Double Crown, Instant Coffee, Kingsbarns, Last Samurai, Magic Michael, Money Supply, Royal Ship, Tumbarumbra and Two Rivers Over.

A total of 39 3-year-old fillies were nominated to the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) sprinting six furlongs, led by multiple stakes winner and twice graded-stakes placed Youalmosthadme, Grade 3-placed Here U Come Again and undefeated Almostgone Rocket from trainer Cox; and multiple stakes winners Carmelina, Closing Act, Hot Beach, Let Them Watch and Mystic Lake.

Taxed, upset winner of last year’s Black-Eyed Susan, is among 26 nominees to the listed $100000 Allaire du Pont Distaff for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles, along with 2023 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) winner Wet Paint, fellow graded-stakes winners Bellamore, Occult and Shotgun Hottie and Grade 1-placed Free Like a Girl and Julia Shining.

Two of the undercard stakes are scheduled for the turf, the $100,000 The Very One for fillies and mares 3 and up and $100,000 Hilltop for 3-year-old fillies. Thirty-four horses were nominated to the five-furlong The Very One including Kaufymaker, third in the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2); 2023 Franklin (G2) winner Tony Ann; and stakes winners All That Magic, Bosserati, High Class, Lady Milagro, Medalla Match and Toupie.

Most popular among horsemen with 58 nominations was the one-mile Hilltop, among them 2023 Natalma (G1) winner She Feels Pretty and Irish Group 3 winner Kairyu, both trained by Cherie DeVaux; graded-stakes placed Buttercream Babe, Crown Imperial, Hot Beach, Lady de Berry and Simply in Front; and multiple stakes winner Nice as Pie, who has strung together four consecutive victories.

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for all Black-Eyed Susan Day stakes on Sunday, May 12.

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